March 11, 2008

Point Blank

"Point Blank": another of those "why haven't I seen this before?" films, a sort of Californian Get Carter (or, more accurately, the other way around, given that it pre-dates the original Get Carter by several years), a relentless LA / San Francisco noir played out in a series of colour- and texture-coded tableaux, doubletakes, prefigurings, repeated motifs (scenes, faces, backdrops, mirrors, bodies, stances, gestures, actions, screens, blinds, curtains, beds, sounds, phrases) echoing across time and place, the laconic Lee Marvin (apparently deeply involved in a lot more than just the acting in this film), the beautiful dark subtly-lit catacombs of Fort Point, used to give the last scenes a feel of being played out on a stage (without being stagey), brazen ambiguities and little shaded mysteries hanging out in plain sight. With the exception of the music soundtrack and the almost total whiteness of the cast, this is a film that's aged well: it doesn't feel like a film of its time so much as a film about its time (so much so that some of the most authentic period bits set in LA almost looked fake to me, way too true to be real).

(Part of Flix).

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At 3/11/2008 11:05 pm, Blogger Phil said...

i've always loved the "richard stark" books. they're the best kind of formulaic crime fiction - stripped down, weird, tough and vital. weirdly i've been re-reading a slew of his stuff again in the past weeks. but "point blank" is easily one of his best and it's converted really well to the screen. marvin and dickenson do a great job in the main roles but everything about it is excellent. the "parker" character has always been a bit cartoonish and that's why you don't see these films being made today. now we've got a different kind of cartoon.

At 3/12/2008 9:47 pm, Blogger Jimmy Little said...

Phil — thanks for the comments (and good to see you're still around…). I hate to admit it, but I still haven't read the books. After seeing the movie, I suspect I'll end up reading them; I really had no idea how good Point Blank was….

At 3/13/2008 11:17 pm, Blogger Phil said...

the dag end of the 60's really wa the time for this sort of stuff. not really the same but similar - the taking of pelham 123 - quite gritty and unglamourous. all the modern films with heists are of the oceans eleven variety (except for reservoir dogs but that was an anomolie).

i still visit each day but have little to say, really.

tactics playing once again in sydney - apparently really good but i'm too wrapped in ennui to go.

At 3/14/2008 10:48 pm, Blogger Jimmy Little said...

Phil — thanks again! Garry M.'s been keeping me informed about the latest Tactics efforts. I guess I'll never see 'em live unless there's a San Francisco gig on the horizon :-).


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